MON AM News: Talking Trade talks impacts of COVID on Wisconsin businesses; “Meeting in Middle America” features Husco International CEO Austin Ramirez

— Supply chain disruption is one of several impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to UW-Madison Asian trade Prof. Ian Coxhead and M.E. Dey & Co. President Sandi Siegel.

On the latest episode of “Talking Trade,” Coxhead and Siegel compare notes on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Wisconsin businesses. 

The video podcast explores trade issues affecting Wisconsin and the Midwest.

See the show, supported by the Center for East Asian Studies at UW-Madison: 

— The latest episode of “Meeting in Middle America” with host Steven Olikara features a discussion with Austin Ramirez, president and CEO of Husco International.

Husco International is a Wisconsin-based company that designs and manufactures automotive components. 

In the new podcast, Ramirez provides an overview on the current state of Midwest manufacturing, as well as where it’s going. He also discusses his views on political reform, highlighting how shifting incentives for elected officials could lead to more productive legislative leadership.

“Meeting in Middle America” is a collaboration between the Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship at UW-Milwaukee and

Listen to the episode, sponsored by WAGET and Bridge & Build, here: 

— Wisconsin ranks third in the nation for the most new COVID-19 cases in the past seven days following Texas and California, according to the CDC.

The state recorded 1,865 new cases yesterday after five consecutive days with over 2,000 new cases. This brought the seven-day average for daily new cases to 2,400 from 2,450. 

And Wisconsin reported five new COVID-19 deaths yesterday, bringing the state’s toll to 1,377.

The new confirmed cases were out of 10,815 people tested. The seven-day percent average of new confirmed cases per total people tested was at 17.1 percent as of Saturday. In this metric, people are only counted once no matter how many times they’ve been tested. 

According to the Department of Health Services, tracking by person displays the number of people who have been tested for the virus. Tracking the percentage of people shows the prevalence of the pandemic or how many people have been infected by COVID-19.

But in terms of total tests collected — one person can have multiple tests — the positive test percentage was at 9.1 percent as of Saturday. In this metric, people are displayed each time they are tested. DHS said that this data provides a daily view of test positivity.

The death rate fell to 1 percent from 1.1 percent for Wisconsin residents who have had a confirmed case of COVID-19. Milwaukee County leads the count with 545 reported deaths.

Counties reporting deaths in the double digits include: Racine (98), Waukesha (94), Brown (69), Kenosha (68), Dane (43), Walworth (35), Washington (35), Winnebago (34), Rock (33), Outagamie (32), Waupaca (21), Ozaukee (20), Dodge (19), Grant (19), Sheboygan (19), Marathon (16) and Fond du Lac (14).

Nine counties in Wisconsin haven’t reported any COVID-19 deaths: Chippewa, Crawford, Douglas, Green Lake, Iowa, Lafayette, Menominee, Pepin and Price.  

Click here for more coronavirus resources and updates: 

— Donna Moreland will serve as deputy secretary for the Department of Safety and Professional Services beginning Oct. 12. 

Moreland replaces Nia Trammell, who is leaving DSPS to fill a seat on the Dane County Circuit Court. Previously the office business director for law firm Perkins Coie, LLP, Moreland has worked in legal administration for more than 15 years.

“Donna will be a valuable addition to our leadership team,” Secretary Dawn Crim said. “She brings deep leadership skills and extensive management experience to our agency. I am confident that she will help us do our important work of keeping the people of Wisconsin safe and supporting our state’s economic growth.”

Moreland also previously represented District 7 on the Madison City Council. She resigned the seat she had held since April 2019.

“I am honored to join DSPS, and I look forward to working closely with Secretary-designee Dawn Crim to serve our customers and the people of Wisconsin,” Moreland said. “This is a tremendous opportunity to make a difference on a state-wide level.”

— Crim is joining two events this week: Wisconsin Leadership Summit and Cap Times Idea Fest.

Today she’ll be a panelist for the leadership summit session: “Words to Live By: Moving Beyond the D&I Statements” from 9:45-11 a.m. The week-long event, presented by Madison 365, brings together some of the area’s most prominent leaders to explore issues facing government, education and healthcare.

On Wednesday, Crim is moderating the Cap Times Idea Fest panel, “Can Madison attract more professionals of color, and if so, how?” The session will focus on how to attract more people of color to the predominantly white Madison community.

“I am honored to be a part of these discussions and, more importantly, the solutions to some of the problems facing our community and state,” Crim said. “I have been in Madison for 25 years, and we’ve been working hard to make this a more welcoming place for people of color. We have made great progress, but there is more we can do. I look forward to both panels, and I have no doubt they will generate good ideas and good energy to put toward the effort.”

Crim is a founding member of the Madison Network of Black Professionals and has focused on creating opportunities for leaders of color throughout her career. The leadership summit and idea fest are the two most recent events related to her initiative to promote diversity and inclusion efforts in the industries DSPS regulates.

Listen to a recent podcast with Crim here:  

— USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue traveled to a Sheboygan County dairy farm to discuss challenges facing farmers. 

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative hosted the secretary and about three dozen farmers and cheese processors Friday at a 250-cow dairy farm in Cedar Grove run by Edge President Brody Stapel and his brother and father.

“This is real America, and this is real agriculture,” said Perdue. He added that while people come to D.C. to talk, it’s when “neighbors come together at a farm like this” that “you get a real sense” of the issues.

The mislabeling of non-dairy foods drew a lot of attention, according to a release put out after the event by Edge.

Amy Penterman, an Edge member with a dairy farm in northwestern Wisconsin, said that farmers have invested heavily in promoting dairy foods as safe and nutritious, and yet the FDA is failing to enforce current labeling standards that identify milk, cheese and other dairy products as originating from cows.

“It is extremely frustrating to see our investments in our own dairy terms be taken advantage of by imitation plant-based product manufacturers,” Penterman told Perdue. “This is also unfair to customers who are misled.”

Edge co-commissioned a national survey in 2018 to measure customers’ views on plant-based foods that mimic dairy cheese. The results, released last year, showed that customers are confused about whether those products are indeed dairy foods and whether they carry the same nutritional value.

“Words do matter when it comes to customers’ buying decisions,” Stapel said. “People should be protected from deceptive names and packaging when they’re looking for real dairy products. We are not against customers having options at the grocery store, but they shouldn’t be lied to.”

Perdue also fielded questions surrounding the second round of the federal Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the importance of free trade agreements to U.S. farmers who are looking for new markets and the challenges dairy farmers face in finding employees due to the lack of year-round visa options. 

“I think it is crucial as president of Edge and also as a local dairyman that we get our farmer members and bring our voice right to the people who need to hear it,” Stapel said.

Perdue said all farmers “share the same noble goal to feed their fellow countrymen.”

“Today, I got to visit with the great dairy men and women of Wisconsin and hear their concerns and bring them back to Washington to ensure their government is working for them, not against them,” he said.


# Sauk County Health Officer resigns, citing ‘political gamesmanship’ involving COVID-19 pandemic

# Advocate Aurora, Beaumont end merger discussions 



– Country Visions Announces Agronomy Promotion 


– They just returned to school in person. Now, a number of students, staff in quarantine.  

– One giant outdoor classroom: Montessori school offers ideal space during COVID-19 


– More Than 200 Green Bay Doctors Ask Community, Elected Officials To Stop Being ‘Reckless’ 


– New North Inc. offering cash prizes in pitch competition in northeast Wisconsin 


– Central Standard Distillery taps former MillerCoors exec for expansion plans 

– Federal regulation, Covid-19 pandemic all prove challenges for Milwaukee distillers 


– Ron Johnson Tests Positive For COVID-19 


– Hundreds of thousands of small businesses got shortchanged on SBA economic injury loans 


– Focus On Cybersecurity 


– Key for Milwaukee hotels for rest of 2020 is surviving 


– As pandemic continues, so should our support for agriculture and food industries 


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

BioForward Wisconsin: New report puts statewide biohealth industry economic impact at $28B

Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation: Joseph Project creates opportunity for for workforce